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By: Emily Socolinsky, SSC

Emily Socolinsky is a Starting Strength Coach and co-owner (with her husband Diego, also an SSC) of FiveX3 Training, a Starting Strength Gym in Baltimore, MD. Every year she hosts the Annual Charlotte Bohn Charm City Strongwoman event to benefit the Ulman Cancer Fund. The event is named after Emily’s sister, who lost her battle with cancer three years ago. Emily, FiveX3, and the amazing community they have built continue to fight to help others. This year the event raised $20,000, meeting their annual goal and putting them on track to meet their long-term goal to raise $100,000 in five years!

Photo: FiveX3 Training

On Sunday, September 16, 2018, Fivex3 Training hosted the 7th Annual Charlotte Bohn Charm City Strongwoman in Baltimore to benefit the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults, specifically for their new project, the Ulman House.

Why It’s Important

My sister, Charlotte, was diagnosed in September 2011 with Stage 3 Colon Cancer. In 2012, Charlotte connected with the Ulman Cancer Fund, an organization founded in 1997 by Doug Ulman who, at age 19, was diagnosed with malignant melanoma. After his surgery and diagnosis, Ulman struggled to find information and support programs for young adults who had been diagnosed with cancer. Frustrated by the lack of resources for young adults, he and his family decided to create the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults.

Photo: FiveX3 Training


Cancer changes lives. So does Ulman. It certainly changed Charlotte’s life and our lives….all for the better. Thanks to the organization’s outreach programs and support, Charlotte always stood strong, knowing that she is not alone.

Unfortunately, Charlotte lost her battle with cancer three years ago. On February 11, 2015, Charlotte died at the age of 38, leaving behind my niece, Eleanor and my nephew Jack. Throughout those 3.5 years, Charlotte continued to live her life to the fullest thanks to her positive outlook on her life. She was running, strength training… her LIFE. 😉 Strength is NOT just physical. It is mental, emotional, even spiritual. When you are strong, you are unstoppable.

Over the next five years, Fivex3 Training pledges to raise $100,000 ($20,000 each year) and be eligible to name one of the nine private suites in the Ulman House in honor of my sister, Charlotte Giza. At the 2018 Charm City Strongwoman Contest, we had over 20 sponsors! These sponsors included many local businesses such as Solid System Construction, Goddard Companies, East Coast Gold Weightlifting, Baltimore BJJ, Grapple Academy, Dance Happens Inc., Baltimore Tattoo Museum and many more!! Thanks to these generous sponsors, fundraising pages, numerous basket raffles and the generosity of so many people, we hit our goal of $20,000!

Event Recap


Photo: FiveX3 Training

After introductions were made by me and our emcee, Jason Hentrich, Katie Norton from Ulman, also made a few remarks. Rules were then reviewed by my husband, Diego. Because of the number of competitors we have every year, our events always run simultaneously. This allows for the contest to always run quickly and gives the spectators a lot to watch! There is never a dull moment!


We had seven divisions: Lightweight, Middleweight, Heavyweight Novice, Lightweight, Middleweight, Heavyweight Open and a Masters Division. Our events were: Weight for Distance, Deadlift for Max Reps, Press Medley: Barbell x2 reps, Axle x1, Log xAMRAP, Rolling Thunder Hold and the Carry Medley: Duck walk, Keg, Sandbag.


Photo: FiveX3 Training


We were ahead of schedule the entire day. 😉 Our agile and strong Fivex3 volunteers spotted the ladies in the press medley and re-adjusted the kegs and sandbags for the carry medley. They worked non-stop the entire morning and afternoon. We also had an event for all the guys. We decided to do a max hold contest with our new toy, the Iron Mind Hub. Of the three grip events over the past three years, this was certainly the most popular event with the guys….and some of the women too!

Photo: FiveX3 Training


After all the points were added up, it was time to announce the winners. We had trophies, Lululemom headbands, and mittens from White Paws Run Mitts for all first place winners, and gift cards for all second and third place winners. It was not just a day to watch women lift weights. It was a day to celebrate strength and women. It was a day to celebrate life. Together, we made a difference in the lives of so many people.


Photo: FiveX3 Training


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